Every adult in Britain could get their first Covid jab by early June after surge in vaccine supply – meaning UK will hit target TWO MONTHS ahead of the EU (and all our over-40s could get the jab by Easter)
- The Government is set to receive a ‘bumper supply’ of vaccines in coming days
- It means under 40s could be offered first Covid jab by Easter, reports Telegraph
- According to Times, every adult in Britain could be offered their first jab by June
- Research shows the EU could reach the same point two months later, in August
Every adult in Britain could receive their first Covid jab by early June – two full months ahead of the EU – after a surge in the supply of vaccines.
In yet another boost to the UK’s rapidly advancing vaccine roll-out, the Government is reportedly set to take stock of a ‘bumper supply’ of vaccines in the coming days.
It means the Government could now offer the jab to the over 40s as early as Easter, according to the Telegraph.
And, if the roll-out continues at an accelerated rate, all adults in the UK could get their first jab by June 10, according to the Times.
The updated target is a month before the Government’s original July goal and two months ahead of the EU – which is expected to reach the same point by August.
It comes after it was earlier this week revealed that up to 10 million extra vaccine doses could be available to the UK within days following a surge in supply.
And, last night, it was revealed that the number of people to receive their first Covid jab topped 23million – bringing Britain a step closer to a return to normality.
Every adult in Britain could receive their first Covid jab (pictured: A woman receives an injection in Leeds yesterday) by June – two months ahead of the EU – after a surge in the supply of vaccines
In yet another boost to the UK’s rapidly advancing vaccine roll-out, the Government is set to take stock of ‘bumper supply’ of vaccines in the coming days. Pictured: Boris Johnson meets with Professor Jose Bengoechea during a visit at the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute For Experimental Medicine in Belfast
If the roll-out continues at an accelerated rate, all adults in the UK could get their first jab by June 10, according to the Times. The updated target is a month before the Government’s original July goal and two months ahead of the EU (pictured EU Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen) – which expects to reach the same point by August.
The accelerated roll-out is set to begin with a drive to quickly work through to the next priority group – the over-50s – after attempting to vaccinate the remaining under-65s with underlying conditions.
How London’s Covid outbreak is rapidly shrinking: All but ONE borough saw infection rates drop last week – with some parts of the capital seeing cases fall by HALF
Only one London borough suffered a spike in coronavirus cases last week, Government data has revealed as the capital’s second wave remains firmly in retreat.
Department of Health’s most-up-to-date data showed 31 out of 32 local authorities saw their infection rate dip over the seven-day spell to March 6.
Hammersmith and Fulham recorded the sharpest drop in Covid cases, after they halved in a week. It was followed by Haringey, Brent, Bromley and Bexley, where infections plummeted by more than 40 per cent.
Kingston-upon-Thames was the only London borough to see cases tick upwards, after they rose by 28 per cent last week to 50.1 positive tests per 100,000 residents.
Public health officials in the capital credited the ‘heroic efforts of Londoners’ for the nosediving infection rates last week, but warned they must continue to stay at home and follow the rules.
There is a delay of at least a week between someone catching the virus, developing symptoms severe enough to get a test and receiving a positive result, creating a lag in the figures.
It comes after a slew of data today offered yet more proof that Britain has turned the tide on the pandemic, with infections continuing to drop across the country.
Just six out of 149 local authorities in England saw Covid cases fall last week, according to Public Health England.
All of those aged 50 and above are now expected to be offered a jab over the next week – three weeks ahead of the Government’s initial target.
According to the Telegraph, it comes as stocks of Covid vaccines are set to more than double.
And it means the over 40s can now be bought forward, with everyone in the group now set to be offered a jab by April 4, the paper adds.
Vaccination centres have already been instructed to recruit more staff to keep up with the jab supply surge, the paper reports.
Meanwhile, the Times says the UK’s roll-out is set to be boosted by the arrival of jabs from Moderna, Janssen and Novavax.
The UK has ordered 17million Moderna jabs, 30million Janssen jabs and 60million Novavax jabs – all of which are over 80 per cent effective at preventing hospitalisation.
So far, the vaccine roll-out has relied on the Oxford University-researched AstraZeneca jab, of which the Government has ordered 100million doses, and the Pfizer-Biontech jab, of which it has ordered 40million.
Research firm Infinity says the influx of new jabs means the UK could have every adult vaccinated by June 10, according to the Times.
The firm estimates that the EU will reach the same milestone by the end of August – giving the UK a head start in terms of its economic recovery.
The quicker restart could be worth tens of billions of pounds to the UK, which had opted out of the EU’s joint vaccine procurement scheme due to Brexit.
Airfinity’s chief executive Rasmus Hansen said the EU’s struggles were due to the bloc viewing vaccination ‘as a pure procurement challenge’, compared to the British and American focus on production, research and development.
Meanwhile, the EU’s vaccination programme continues to struggle, with more than three million of the most-at-risk Germans – such as those over 80 – still yet to receive their first Covid jab.
Britain’s flying start to its vaccine roll-out was last month hit by a dip, with ministers blaming suppliers for a drop in stock.
But Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford earlier this week alleviated fears of over a ‘dip’ in the vaccination.
He told the i newspaper that the dip was now over ahead of the UK entering what he described as a ‘crucial stage’ of its jab rollout.
Mr Drakeford said: ‘We are confident that we are past the couple of weeks where there was a dip in supply and we will be getting significantly greater volumes during the month of March.’
Vaccination centres (pictured: A vaccination centre in Leeds) have already been instructed to recruit more staff to keep up with the jab supply surge, according to reports
Meanwhile, the Times says the UK’s roll-out is set to be boosted by the arrival of jabs from Moderna, Janssen and Novavax (pictured: A dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine)
Last month the country’s highly-praised vaccination roll-out began to stall after getting off to a rapid start – which put the UK far ahead of its European neighbours.
Just 192,000 people were vaccinated on Monday, February 23 and 142,000 the day before, in two of the lowest daily tolls since the mammoth operation began to gather steam at the start of the year.
Ministers have repeatedly blamed the ‘lumpy’ supply of vaccines as being the ‘rate-limiting factor’ of the programme.
Officials say shrinking deliveries were expected because Pfizer had to improve its key factory in Belgium at the start of the year, and AstraZeneca’s production was slower to get off the ground than planned.
However, both drug giants have insisted that there are no unforeseen issues with the supply chain.
Meanwhile, Britain’s coronavirus cases last night began to rise again, because of a huge schools testing campaign.
However all other measures pointed to the outbreak continuing to die out with deaths down on last week and the R rate sinking to its lowest ever level.
Another 6,609 cases and 175 more deaths were announced by the Department of Health.
Just 5,494 people became ill with Covid every day last week— down a third from the 8,111 figure last week according to the Covid Symptom Study, run by ZOE and King’s College London
The case count is a small rise on last Friday (11 per cent), driven up by a huge spike in the number of tests being done as schools reopened, with a record 1.6million carried out yesterday.
But deaths have continued to come down, with a 26 per cent week-on-week drop.
No10’s scientific advisory panel SAGE estimated the reproduction rate — the average number of people infected by each person with coronavirus — is between 0.6 and 0.8 across the UK and England, meaning the outbreak is still shrinking.
Office for National Statistics experts claimed today that the total number of people infected with Covid in England fell by a fifth to just over 200,000 last week — the equivalent of one in 270 people.
And data from a major symptom-tracking app today claimed 4,200 people are becoming ill with the disease every day — down by a third in a week
Professor Tim Spector, a King’s College London epidemiologist behind the study, said he believes the ‘darkest days are behind us’.
But the rate at which the outbreak is shrinking in England has slowed down even though total cases and daily new cases have fallen to levels not seen since September.
For comparison, outbreaks in Scotland and Northern Ireland appear to have stagnated and may have risen slightly, according to the ONS.
Nicola Sturgeon today eased lockdown restrictions in Scotland to allow four adults from two households to meet outside, despite figures suggesting a rise in cases.
The First Minister has insisted she will be led by data not dates, but has still sped up her plans to relax measures in the face of a stagnating outbreak.
Boris Johnson, on the other hand, has refused to accelerate England’s calendar for easing measures despite Covid cases continuing to fall.
The figure’s will pile even more pressure on No10 to relax lockdown quicker in England, amid mounting Tory fury at the Prime Minister’s reluctance to move quicker.
He has also promised to be led by ‘data not dates’ in his roadmap back to normality.
Wales will make the same step from tomorrow, with First Minister Mark Drakeford set to announce later today that the ‘stay at home’ order will be dropped in favour of a ‘stay local’ message. Hairdressers will also be permitted to reopen from Monday.
Vaccination – the key to lifting lockdown rules – is still moving slower than it did at the start of February, with 260,809 people immunised for the first time yesterday along with 93,563 second doses.
A total of 23.3million people have now been vaccinated across the UK.
But despite cases continuing to drop and the vaccine drive running smoothly in England, current rules mean only two people from two households can meet outside, with groups of six from two homes not permitted to gather until March 29.
Wales ends 12-week ‘stay at home’ lockdown from TOMORROW meaning up to four adults can meet outside with barbers and primary schools open on Monday – but NOT non-essential shops
Wales will drop the ‘stay at home’ order tomorrow in a major relaxation of the country’s lockdown.
It will be replaced with a ‘stay local’ requirement for at least the next three weeks as more restrictions on everyday life are rolled back.
First Minister Mark Drakeford will later officially announce that outdoor gatherings of up to four people will resume tomorrow, including in private gardens.
Tennis courts, basketball courts and golf courses will also get the green light to reopen.
Hairdressers will be permitted to reopen from Monday, as primary school pupils also return to the classroom that day.
Indoor care home visits will also restart for single designated visitors from the weekend.
Ahead of the major easing, Mr Drakeford said this morning: ‘Cautiously, carefully and step by step, we’re now on the journey of reopening Welsh society.’
The ‘stay local’ rule is likely to come under scrutiny for how it will be defined – and enforced.
People are expected to be told to stay in a five-mile radius, but those from rural areas are likely to be allowed to travel greater distances than those who live in urban towns and cities.
Another area of confusion is whether visitors are allowed to pass through a house to get to the garden.
Mr Drakeford told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme ‘the idea is you walk straight through, out the back door into the garden’.
‘That will be a big step forward here in Wales, people haven’t been able to do that now for weeks and weeks,’ he said.
First Minister Mark Drakeford will later officially announce that outdoor gatherings of up to four people will resume tomorrow, including in private gardens
Mr Drakeford is expected to say today: ‘We are taking a phased approach to unlocking each sector – starting with schools.
‘We will make step-by-step changes each week to gradually restore freedoms. We will monitor each change we make, so we know what impact each change has had on Wales’ public health situation.’
From Monday secondary schools will have the option to bring year 10 and 12 learners back, while there will be ‘flexibility’ to allow all other pupils to ‘check-in’ with teachers on a limited amount of days ahead of a full return after the Easter break.
Non-essential retail, which was considered for reopening from next week, will start to reopen gradually from March 22, while restrictions will be lifted on what can be sold in shops which are currently open.
All shops, including all close contact services, will be able to open from April 12, the same date as in England.
People wrap up walking along the promenade at Porthcawl, Wales, this week
Businesses that will be affected by ongoing restrictions will be supported by an additional £150 million from the Welsh Government.
This morning Mr Drakeford said he hoped tourism would be open to people outside of Wales by the summer if the coronavirus situation continued to improve.
‘At Easter time, Welsh people will be able to travel for holidays over Easter within Wales, and to self-contained accommodation,’ Mr Drakeford said.
‘The rules in England will not permit that. The Prime Minister’s road map says that for the weeks after March 29, people should minimise travel, there are to be no holidays, and people won’t be allowed to stay away from home overnight.
‘If it won’t be safe to stay overnight in England, then obviously it would not be safe for people to travel into Wales.’
Public Health Wales said on Thursday there were a further 195 cases of coronavirus in Wales, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 205,788.
The agency reported 12 further deaths, taking the total in the country since the start of the pandemic to 5,424.
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